Laos and Malaysia will boost cooperation in trade and investment to strengthen their existing bilateral relations.
The collaboration was confirmed during a bilateral meeting between Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ms Khemmani Pholsena and Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mr. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, on the second day of the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings in Vientiane yesterday.
In the past, trade relations between Laos and Malaysia have continued as normal but have not expanded in line with both countries’ potential.
Both sides, and particularly their industry and commerce sectors, need to boost cooperation in trade and investment by encouraging businesses to carry out joint development planning.
They also need to develop the quality of goods to international standard for import and export and increase their shared trade value.
The meeting also stressed that both sides should promote their business sectors and give them opportunities to participate in product exhibitions and information exchanges.
Concerning bilateral econom ic cooperation, Laos aims to encourage more Malaysian companies to invest in the country as well as seek fresh opportunities to expand businesses and diversify their investment portfolios abroad, especially within the region.
Both countries are in the Asean Economic Community (AEC), so Laos called on Malaysia to increase its role in negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership area.
Trade volume between Laos and Malaysia last year reached US$26.1 million, which was an 8 percent increase on the previous year.
Meanwhile the investment value by Malaysia from 2011-2015 exceeded US$569 million, ranking the country eighth among foreign investors in Laos.
Investment projects involve the industrial, mining and energy sectors, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Ms Khemmani thanked the Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry for his participation in the 48th Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings and said she hoped to receive support from Malaysia at the meeting.
She also admired the success of the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings held in Kuala Lumpur last year.
Source: Vientiane Times